What Belongs to You
On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher walks down a staircase beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture, looking for sex. Among the stalls of a public bathroom he encounters Mitko, a charismatic young hustler. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, and their trysts grow increasingly intimate and unnerving as the enigma of this young man becomes inseparable from that of his homeland, Bulgaria, a country with a difficult past and an uncertain future. Garth Greenwell's What Belongs to You is a stunning debut about an American expat struggling with his own complicated inheritance while navigating a foreign culture. Lyrical and intense, it tells the story of a man caught between longing and resentment, unable to separate desire from danger, and faced with the impossibility of understanding those he most longs to know.
A breathtaking examination of romantic obsession and the power struggles of a relationship, this beautifully written and achingly emotional novel marks the debut of one of America's most exciting young writers.
"The first great novel of 2016" Publishers Weekly "A project of rare discernment and beauty, and it is not to be missed. A luminous, searing exploration of desire, alienation, and the powerful tattoo of the past" Kirkus
Garth Greenwell is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, where he was an Arts Fellow. His novella Mitko won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award.